© 2016 WLON Distribution

Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation Celebrates New Business


December 2, 2005

WABIGOON, ON. On December 2, 2005 an Open House was held at Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation (WLON) officially celebrating another business venture - WLON Distribution Ltd. Good food and good talk came together as members of the First Nation and visitors joined in celebrating its "next" aboriginal business venture.

Wabigoon Lake Distribution (http://www.wlondistribution.ca/) is one of the business opportunities that emerged through efforts to find markets for its own products highly regarded for their quality. The company has secured rights to market a variety of quality products regionally and nationally in Canada.

"This is a day that makes us very proud", said Chief Esther Pitchenese. "Our First Nation sees business development and economic independence as a cornerstone for our future. Our people deserve good, well-paying jobs like anyone else. We continue to move on our path to achieving this."

"Looking back, you can see how a distribution company would become a part of the overall business development strategy of the First Nation, but it wasn't clear when we started," noted James Kroeker, General Manager of Wabigoon Distribution. "We have a good track record of selling things that people are very proud of here - including wild rice products. WLON Distribution is building on this success and developing new products in various places like the United States, good business relationships have been formed. These relationships have resulted in us being introduced to products of excellent quality - just like our rice bars. So, the opportunity for us to distribute these products came about naturally. We're very happy it did."

As outlined on its web site, Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation has set up a Distribution Center at WLON to promote, develop and engage in regional and national business opportunities. The new company, WLON Distribution Ltd., was incorporated in September of 2004 and has been fully operational since that time. The company specializes in minority Aboriginal distribution/procurement opportunities with large corporations and with government. The company markets both goods and services ranging from cleaning products to clothing to business advisory services. The company is a certified aboriginal supplier and is certified by the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council.

"Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation has a growing track record of success in business and we're located in the middle of the country," said Terry Favelle, who is also on staff at WLON Distribution. Favelle added, "We're right next to the Trans Canada Highway. We have handy rail access. We can take advantage of these things. Distribution makes good sense for us. So we're doing it."

WLON Distribution has already established markets for its products with various companies including Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. "We congratulate WLON Distribution on the successful launch of this business", said Sharon Morin, Weyerhaeuser's Eastern Canada Service Centre Manager. "We are pleased to have developed a solid working relationship with WLON Distribution with the support of our national supplier Acklands Grainger and we continue to work together on expanding a current purchase agreement for cleaning products."

New markets continue to be developed for products distributed by WLON Distribution. "Having products that provide advantages for our customers benefits us and them", noted Kroeker. "This business has an added benefit. As WLON Distribution develops this business opportunity, it improves the profile of the businesses already operating on this First Nation. It may sound a bit strange to some, but selling a de-greaser can help build the profile of the First Nation in the forestry sector, for example. Success builds on success. Wabigoon is heading to more success in the future."

"These are encouraging times," noted Ogichidaa Arnold Gardner. "Having these fine people from this community take advantage of their opportunity demonstrates confidence and initiative. They are a source of pride and are role models for our communities within our nation. I certainly am very proud of them and their achievement."